The Victorian Government has introduced new 2022 regulations for the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme to alleviate the financial hardship faced by small business tenants and landlords as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the new regulations, the Scheme is available to businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10 million that have suffered a decline in turnover of at least 30% due to COVID-19.
The scheme will operate retrospectively from 16 January 2022 to 15 March 2022.
The Scheme is broadly based on the previous Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme that was introduced in 2020 and reintroduced in 2021, with the objective of supporting tenants and landlords to negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement on rent relief in a timely manner.
The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) will provide support to tenants and landlords through a free mediation service to assist parties in reaching a fair and satisfactory agreement.
The Scheme will support small to medium commercial tenants with an annual turnover under $10 million and a demonstrated decline in turnover of at least 30% due to the impact of COVID-19.
Businesses that have been indirectly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, for example by lower demand or fewer customers, are also eligible, even if their operations were not closed due to restrictions.
For more information and to read the frequently asked questions, please visit The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) website.
Changes to eligibility from previous Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme regulations
There have been changes to eligibility requirements from the previous regulations that ended on 15 January 2022. The previous scheme supported small to medium commercial tenants with an annual turnover under $50 million and a demonstrated decline in turnover of at least 30% due to the impact of COVID-19.
Please see the previous Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme FAQs if you have a query about the previous scheme, or call the VSBC on 13 87 22.